There has been SO MANY news stories to cover since our last news update (which was a DOOZY!).
Let’s recap on what the past week has looked at when it comes to Disney news! (Buckle up guys, it’s a long one!)
Just before Disney’s Riviera Resort reopened, we learned its character breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace would be the ONLY returning character meal at Walt Disney World and would include a few modifications.
Other traditional character meals such as Trattoria al Forno‘s Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast would resume, but not have any characters for the time being. Even though Disney World had told us all character dining would resume at a later time, we were SHOCKED when we learned that EPCOT’s Garden Grill would be reopening — with characters!
While Disney World first announced Topolino’s Terrace would be the ONLY character meal guests would be able to enjoy during its phased reopening, it looks like ANOTHER character dining experience will be returning when the parks reopen.
Garden Grill Restaurant located at Epcot’s Land Pavilion will ALSO be offering character dining starting July 15th!
Greetings from Epcot!
This park is an eating PARADISE! From Outdoor Kitchens at Epcot’s renowned festivals to fine dining at Epcot’s newest signature restaurant, Takumi-Tei, there is something to please any palette. And amidst all of this gourmet delicious-ness is a (somewhat) hidden character dining gem — Garden Grill!
We recently snagged an early reservation and headed in for a tasty breakfast with Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto. Would it still stack up as one of our favorite character meals? Read on to find out!
Greetings from Epcot!! We took a stroll around the park and found some awesome new merchandise, adorable new jelly candies, and of course, construction updates!
Take a lap around Epcot with us while we show you what’s new!
Today, we’re sharing with you our latest visit to Garden Grill Restaurant for Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast Dinner!
Garden Grill is basically one of my favorite character meals. First, it’s a character meal with really great interaction. And while Chip ‘n’ Dale are the headliners, here, you also get to hang out with Farmer Mickey and Pluto!
But beyond the characters, we enjoy the unique ambiance that Garden Grill offers. If you’ve never visited the restaurant, wait ’til you see what it does! Yes — DOES!
We’ve also had some pretty fantastic meals here. Breakfast is virtually a tradition for my family.
But today, we’re visiting in the evening. We’ve enjoyed past dinners here. Let’s see if the trend continues.
Looking for Garden Grill Restaurant? Hang a right after Spaceship Earth and head toward The Land Pavilion in Future World West.
Walkways line the perimeter walls inside the building and lead you down to the pavilion’s three levels, which hosts Living with the Land, Soarin’, and Sunshine Seasons (one of our favorite counter service spots) on the bottom. There’s also an elevator if you’d prefer it to walking.
You’ll find the Garden Grill directly across from the entrance.
And here’s where we talk about what Garden Grill does: it rotates. In fact, it’s the only restaurant in Orlando — and only one of a handful in the world — that spins.
Now, just in case the thought of a rotating restaurant doesn’t sound all that appetizing, we promise you that Garden Grill spins at a snail’s pace. We aren’t talking spinning teacups here.
Why does it spin? Well, there’s more than one way to check out the attractions within Living with the Land! As the restaurant rotates, guests are treated to scenes from the ride. This mural acts as sort of a gateway.
You’ll visit a farmhouse — or see it from above, anyway. I think this scene is particularly fun, because you get to look inside one of the windows from this vantage point!
You’ll also see extremes in landscapes. As you view a rainforest scene, and watch it morph into a desert scene as you travel.
Your vehicle for sightseeing is your table, of course.
Tables are arranged in a sort of stadium seating pattern on two levels around the restaurant. Top tier tables are your garden variety rectangular tables, like you see here.
On the lower level, semi-circular booths face out, giving you the best view of the scenes you pass.
And did you notice? Mickey makes an appearance before your meal ever starts! 😀
And that brings me to Reason Number Two that you might want to visit Garden Grill: the characters. Let’s check ’em out.
One of my top reasons for visiting Garden Grill is the character interaction. In fact, it’s one of my Top Two Favorite Character Meals in Walt Disney World! Of course, I love when I can see Mickey during a character meet and greet. And here, he’s dressed in his farmer finest.
Mickey is joined by his faithful pup sidekick, Pluto.
But this is, after all, Chip ‘n’ Dale’s gig. So you’re sure to see the playful pair as you enjoy your dinner.
And that’s one of the coolest things about Garden Grill — it’s not just the stellar character interaction, but the amount of interaction you get. The restaurant is fairly small in size, so that means you normally have the chance to visit with characters more than once during your meal.
So we’ve talked about the fact that Garden Grill rotates, thus making it something kinda special. And, of course, any day that you can share your meal with Chip ‘n’ Dale and Friends is gonna be a good one.
But how about the food? Well, the good news is — that’s pretty great, too.
Garden Grill serves its meals family style, meaning that shareable platters are brought to the table, and you can ask for more of anything you like. That also means that everyone dining has the choice of a non-alcoholic beverage as part of the prix fixe price of his or her meal. But if you’d like, you can also order from a list of special drinks, including cocktails, mocktails, beer, and wine.
You don’t really choose what you’re getting at Garden Grill (unless you have special dietary needs; talk to your server in that case). The offerings are pretty much standard. You’ll start with warm Dinner Rolls, served with a side of Whipped Butter.
Next comes the Harvest-Inspired Farmer’s Salad. During our visit, the salad included greens, hard boiled egg, radishes, and grape tomatoes. It’s lightly dressed with a creamy dressing.
The main course is the combination platter with sliced Homestyle Pot Roast, sliced Turkey Breast, and Italian Sausage served with sautéed Peppers and Onions. Sides on the platter include Mashed Potatoes and Bacon and Leek Stuffing.
The Italian Sausage is new, having replaced the previously served Sustainable Fish of the Day.
But that’s not all. You get additional veggie sides, like Green Beans and Sweet Potatoes, plus Macaroni and Cheese.
For dessert, it’s a shareable Short Cake topped with Fruit Compote and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream.
Some folks may call this a cobbler. Whatever name you give it, the rich cake and super saucy berry topping is a winner with everyone at the table.
You’ll enjoy Garden Grill if:
You may want to skip Garden Grill if:
After lots of visits, I still love Garden Grill Restaurant.
I think I’ve laid out a pretty convincing argument. When you visit Garden Grill, you’re getting a three-way combo of unique environment, great characters, and excellent (and plentiful) food. And when it comes to characters and kids, I personally lean toward a character meal where the food comes to you, because it’s so much easier to juggle kids, characters, and food when you don’t have to worry about visiting a buffet.
But even beyond the convenience of Garden Grill, the characters, and the novelty of the place, I think this place just offers really great food. It may be kind of standard fare, but it’s thoughtfully prepared. And when you’re paying Disney prices, it’s great when you can enjoy a character meal as much for the food as for everything else.
If you haven’t tried it before, book an advance dining reservation for Garden Grill Restaurant. I think you’ll be pleased.
Now, I’d love to hear from you! Is Garden Grill Restaurant one of your favorites? Let us know in comments!
We are headed into The Land Pavilion in Walt Disney World’s Epcot today for one of our favorite character meals at Garden Grill Restaurant!
This spot may feel a little dated in a way…but we prefer to think of it as retro. 😉 Disney’s (Orlando’s!!) only rotating restaurant is still tops for the coolness factor of the, you know, rotation. I can remember going to this restaurant when I was a little kid — it was fancy-pants back then (with sculpted Mickey butter!), but the nostalgia factor is high here for Epcot babies. Add in some pretty delicious food, and you’re doing even better. AND then — characters! Even Mickey! So it’s probably sort of easy to see why we like it.
Recently, our Dining in Disneyland expert and friend of DFB Heather Sievers travelled to Walt Disney World for a visit. Among their many culinary adventures, her family opted to visit Garden Grill Restaurant for breakfast one morning.
Let’s tag along and see how it went!
is located within The Land Pavilion in Epcot’s Future World West.
This building is a serious multitasker. You’ll find three different attractions housed here: Soarin, Living with the Land, and The Circle of Life. All have different entrances, which are accessible as you travel down ramps circling either side of the round building’s perimeter. [Read more…]
Great news for fans who love the Epcot Candlelight Processional at Disney World during the holidays!
We been watching and waiting for news about the popular event. Today we’re happy to share the list of narrators, and that booking for Candlelight Processional Packages is now officially open!
You can only make your Advance Dining Reservation by booking online at disneyworld.com, or by phone by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).
The Candlelight Processional features the retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator. The reading is accompanied by a robed choir and a full orchestra performing Christmas carols. [Read more…]
We are big fans of Epcot around here, just like you are. It may not be the original Disney World Park, but it holds a charm that few other spots in the Disney universe can. After all, walking around there feels like you’ve stepped into the dreams of Walt Disney himself. It didn’t start life as the Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow for nothing!
The park has evolved a bit through the years, but we’re still enchanted by its dual personalities: Future World, celebrating technology and the promise of what’s to come; and World Showcase, which encourages visitors to embrace cultures from around the globe in order to learn from them. [Read more…]
Nothing hits the spot quite like that decadent treat, a Disney Cinnamon Roll. Whether you’re enjoying one of these mammoth pastries for breakfast with your coffee, or as an afternoon snack, it’s been one of my favorites forever!
But there are still so many delicious options available out there! Let’s take a look at a few of my favorites, and then you can share with me which ones you like the best. [Read more…]